Biblical Fasting: What is it?
fast? Have you ever fasted? Do you understand the
purpose of a fast? Are you one of the people today who
think fasting is completely unnecessary and that it
provides no benefit?
every study I conduct: I encourage you to get your own
bible and study the matter for your self. You need to
know what the Bible says about fasting.
you're like me, you cringe at the idea of a prolonged
fast, because you realize how difficult it is to keep!
For many people a fast is when you lay down your head at
night and get up to eat breakfast the next morning. I
hate to be a harbinger of bad news, but that is not a
today is not popular and the idea of afflicting our
flesh by abstaining from food is barbaric to many people
today, yet the Word of God not only encourages us to
fast, it assumes that a fast is a natural part of the
examine fasting according to the Bible and determine if
it is for us today, what benefit it would be for us what
it may accomplish for us (or in us).
love it, some more than others, and we all need it to
survive! The bible actually talks about food and the
uses of food. It may surprise you to learn that God
didn't give us food just for sustenance!
not an accident that God gave us such a wide variety of
edible types of food along with highly developed senses
of taste! God intended for us to find pleasure in
eating! As with other good gifts of God that have been
given to us, food was given for us to enjoy.
Ecclesiastes 2:24-25: "There is nothing better for a
man, [than] that he should eat and drink, and that he
should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also
I saw, that it was from the hand of God. For who can
eat, or who else can hasten [hereunto], more than I?"
Ecclesiastes 5:18: "Behold that which I have seen: it
is]good and comely [for one to eat and to drink, and to
enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under
the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him:
for it is his portion."
course is also given to sustain daily life and to give
us energy we need to do our work. We would all die
without it. In Genesis 1:30 God gave all manner of
plants to Adam and Eve to eat for food. In Genesis
chapter 9, after the great flood, God gave us animals to
eat. During the Mosaic system of law, we were given
animals that were clean and unclean and given specific
instruction by God as to which we could eat and which we
could not eat. In the New Testament, we have
instruction by Paul that nothing is to be refused and
nothing is unclean if it is received with thanksgiving,
because it is sanctified with prayer.
Timothy 4:4 "For every creature of God is good, and
nothing to be refused, if it be received with
eat and enjoy our food.
also give to us for purposes of fellowship.
18:1-8 gives us one of the first examples of fellowship
and food. All through the Old Testament the people of
God came together for fellowship over food and God
himself commanded that some of the sacrifices offered to
Him at the temple were to be shared with others.
It is no
coincidence that the Family meal time is a pleasure when
it involves food, love, fellowship and discussion. The
family meal should be a focal point for conversation,
communication, discussion and teaching in any household,
and that's the way God intended it to be. In too many
homes today, tragically, the family meal is all but
lost. Deuteronomy 12:6-7 gives us an example of a
communal meal in which the people of God came together
to sit in fellowship and eat!
Family of Christ rarely bread together anymore in true
Christian fellowship. When potluck dinners are served,
there is more eating many times than there is
fellowship! There is one banquet that I am looking
forward to and that is the one that I will finally have
with Jesus (Revelation 19:9). Food was made by God to
be a gathering point for us to come together in
also is a source of worship. We should be very conscious
of the fact that food is a gift from God (Matthew 6:11 &
1 Timothy 4:3b-4). In fact, Paul says that every bit of
food "should be received with thanksgiving" (1 Timothy
4:3). Hence, every meal becomes an occasion for
thanksgiving. When we put food to our mouths at the
beginning of the meal (Acts 27:35) and when we sit back
in our chair with satisfaction (Deuteronomy 8:10), our
natural reaction should be Godward gratitude. According
to the Bible food was created to be a source of
thanksgiving and worship.
The Bible tells us that food was given for four reasons.
God has created food for the purpose of enjoyment,
sustenance, fellowship, and worship. Yet God also has a
place for fasting in our lives. But before we find out
where that place is, let's see exactly what the Bible
means when it talks about "fasting".